Victim-blaming: Was she “asking for it”?

Who gets the blame when a woman is sexually harassed or assaulted?”

 

Qur-an 33.59:

“O Prophet, say to your wives and your daughters, and the women of the believers to draw part of their outer garments over themselves.  It is likelier that they will be recognized and not molested.”

 

 

“Hasn’t he been informed of what is in the scrolls of Moses

And of Abraham, the one who fulfilled (his covenant)?:

That no bearer of a burden shall bear the burden of another…”

Qur-an 53.36-38

 

No one can bear the blame for someone else’s actions.  That’s clear.  If someone does wrong, he or she alone is to blame.  It should be pointed out that Muslims believe this concept to also be in the lost books of Moses and Abraham, so we don’t believe that Allah has ever allowed a person to be blamed for another’s actions.

 

Qur-an 24.30

“Say to the believing men to lower their gazes and to guard their private parts…”

Islaam has a practical approach to sexual harassment and assault.

 

The same directive is addressed to the believing women, followed by instructions about modest dress.  In the explanation given by scholars, this refers to lowering their gaze from women, other people’s private parts (i.e. those which are supposed to be covered) and at obscene objects.  The term “lower the gaze” is explained in narrations reported from the Prophet as not following the first (unintentional) look with a second (intentional) look or stares.

So regardless of how a woman is dressed (and she is allowed to dress in a way considered “immodest” in Islamic values) a man is not supposed to look at her.  If he’s not supposed to be ‘ogling’ her, or ‘checking her out’, then of course he is not allowed to go further than that.

 

 

“And do not approach zinaa…”  Qur-an 17.32

 

The word zinaa means sexual intercourse with someone to whom you are not legally married.  So it includes fornication (sex outside of wedlock) and adultery (sex with someone married to someone else), among others.

Now, look carefully at the wording.  In the original Arabic, the wording is not “wa laa taznuu”, which would mean ‘and do not commit fornication, etc.’.  It is “wa laa taqrabu az-zinaa”, which means “and do not APPROACH fornication, etc.”  So, regarding your question, regardless of how a man feels about a woman (or about how she is “making” him feel) he is already not supposed to be looking at her, as discussed above.  Further, he is not to, in any way, do anything that brings him close to sex with her.  No catcalls.  No advances.  No smiles.  No come-ons.  No touching.  No introductions.  NOTHING.  If he does any of these things, never mind surpassing all of them to grope or sexually assault her, he is clearly in the wrong.

 

 

“The believers have surely succeeded…

those who turn away from laghw,…”

Qur-an 23.1,3

 

I think this relates more to the issue of sexual harassment than sexual assault.  Laghw is translated as, among other things “futile and/or indecent speech”, depending on the translator and context.  So the kinds of things that men harass women with are forbidden, regardless of the context.  In fact, there is no context in which futile, indecent speech is allowed.  Therefore, considering that such speech is wrong, and considering that, as above, no one can be blamed for what another person does, if a man harasses a woman, it is his fault, not hers.

That’s a brief review of what I think the Qur-an contains on the subject.  Now, turning to the secondary source of Islamic law and morals, the guided lifestyle of the Prophet, these are things that the Prophet either:

(1)   did,

(2)   said,

(3)   commanded, or

(4)   allowed (by staying silent about in its presence)

This, the sunna, is not in the Qur-an, but has been compiled in books of narrations or ahadeeth (singular:  hadeeth).  Every hadeeth goes through a scientific process of scrutiny where the reputation of every individual narrator is graded, and the entire chain of narration is also graded for authenticity.

 

Here is an example:

Narrated Wa’il ibn Hujr:

When a woman went out in the time of the Prophet for prayer, a man attacked her and overpowered [raped] her.

She shouted and he went off, and when a man came by, she said: “That [man] did such and such to me”. And when a company of the Emigrants came by, she said: “That man did such and such to me”. They went and seized the man whom they thought had had intercourse with her and brought him to her.

She said: “Yes, this is he”.

Then they brought him to the Apostle of Allah.

When he [the Prophet] was about to pass sentence, the man who [actually] had assaulted her stood up and said: “Apostle of Allah, I am the man who did it to her”.

He [the Prophet] said to her: “Go away, for Allah has forgiven you”.

But he told the man some good words [Abu Dawud said: “meaning the man who was seized”],

and of the man who had had intercourse with her, he said: “Stone him to death.”

Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 38, #4366

So it is clear that the victim was not to blame.

Now, do people always judge by the book of Allah and the example of His Prophet?  No.  Of course, the majority of the people in the world are not Muslim, so they are unaware.  As for the Muslims, not all of them are knowledgeable, and not all of them are sincere.  If a person is insincere, his or her knowledge does not benefit, and much less their ignorance.  If a person is ignorant, her or his sincerity does not benefit them, and much less so their insincerity.  Somewhere in the fray, among other things, women may not get their rights.  If that is so, it is not Islam, but those individual Muslims- or hypocrites posing as Muslims- who are to blame.

Now, in what way can a woman be to blame?  If she dresses immodestly, she is wrong for doing so, but the matter is between her and Allah.  To my knowledge there is no legal penalty for immodest dress, so it is not a matter between her and the authorities.  (A general goal of the sharee’ah is to stop the spread of indecency, so I imagine there are measures that can be taken in extreme cases, though.)  In any case, as we have shown, it does not in any way excuse sexual harassment or assault.  We must recognize, though, that while it cannot be said that she has encouraged harassment or assault, neither can it be said that she has discouraged it.  This is one of the benefits and purposes of modesty, to discourage the men who are not fearful of Allah.  It is a pre-cautionary measure mandated by Allah long ago, whose relevancy is still being proven today (see here).

(Everything I’ve written here is subject to the limits of my knowledge and understanding.  The truth of it is from Allah, and any inaccuracies are only from my self.)

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Hijab (head), niqab (face), and jilbab (body)

Sociology of Gender: the Hijab

The following is a final exam paper I wrote on the practice of hijab (Islamic veil).  I was in a Sociology class called “Sociology of Gender” taught by Dr. Elizabeth Bernstein at Barnard College.  It presents the results of a survey I conducted at Columbia University that shows that non-Muslims and Westerners fail to understand this and other practices because they focus on forcing their assumptions on the situation rather than considering what Islam really means.  I got a B+…

_______

Daniel Nehemiah Oliver

Sociology of Gender Final Question 2

There is no god but ALLAH.  Muhammad (May the Peace and Blessings of ALLAH be upon him) is the Messenger of ALLAH.  Sincere belief in these statements makes one a Muslim.  They are the fundamental, guiding principles of Muslim life.  They, for instance, establish the Qur’an unquestionably as the word of ALLAH, brought to humanity by his Messenger.  Belief in ALLAH and His Messenger and the authority of the Qur’an figure importantly in the Muslim/Western

Dr. Homa Hoodfar

debate over veiling moreso than Hoodfar, in The Veil in their Minds and on their Heads*, realizes.  She rightly identifies the Qur’an as an influencing factor in Middle Eastern veiling practices, but her essay does not explore its implications.  Her argument is based mainly on historical and sociological sketches that illuminate truths about Middle Eastern society and Muslim culture, but by ignoring Islam as a faith, and failing to acknowledge Muslims as a distinct, diverse group, held together by and operating upon the dynamics of this faith, the discussion of veiling loses credibility and explanatory value.  This paper presents the findings of a study aimed at exploring and explaining this crucial and little understood aspect of veiling.

Palestinian Christians in headscarves

To this end, I selected a survey sample that could represent these unheard and ignored voices.  I picked 3 types of respondents, whom I coded as “Muslims”, “Muslimahs” and “Hijabis”.  The Muslims were two male Muslims, one born Muslim (Muslim B) and one revert to islam (Muslim R).  (Those who accept Islam from another faith are called reverts rather than converts, due to a belief that all things are born in, and some later corrupted from, fitrah, a natural state of submission to ALLAH.)  The Muslimahs were two Muslim women who do not veil;  one born Muslim (Muslimah B) and one revert (Muslimah R).  The Hijabis were two Muslim women who do veil, also known as wearing hijab;  one born Muslim (Hijabi B) and one revert (Hijabi R).  All six of these were affiliated with Columbia University or Barnard College either as undergraduates, graduate students, or staff.  Their ages ranged from 18-29, and their backgrounds and living experiences represent the diversity of the world’s Muslims to as great a degree as possible given the sample size.

Islam is the basis of a worldwide community united by belief in the Lordship of ALLAH and the messengership of Muhammad.  This community is diverse in every way that a community can be:  linguistically, culturally, economically,Hijab (head), niqab (face), and jilbab (body) geographically, economically, theologically, and so on.  Veiling and most other practices are not uniform.  These differences, however, are usually not based on belief, but on interpretation of belief.  Take the Qur’an, for example.  There are no versions.  The only variation lies in the rendering of Arabic terms different translators may choose.  So, in the original Árabic, every Muslim reads the same thing, but inevitably many individualized readings result.  Consider the following:

(With the Name of Allah, the Universally Merciful, the Discriminately Merciful)

And say to the believing women to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts, and not to show their ornaments except what is apparent, and two draw their veils over their bosoms and not to show their adornments except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands’ fathers, or their sons, or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women or what their right hands possess, or to their male servants who have no vigor, or children who are not yet aware of women’s private parts…

– Qur’an, Chapter 24 an-Nuur/“The Light”: 31

And

O Prophet, say to your wives, and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their outer garments over themselves.  As such it is likelier that they will be recognized and not molested.  ALLAH Is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

– Qur’an, Chapter 33 al-Ahzab/“The Confederates”: 59

It must first be said that this paper is not gaging the accuracy of this translation from the original text.  In addition, the purpose of this paper is not to explain or interpret these verses.  These verses have been presented simply as evidence that the Qur’an contains mandates concerning the practicing of veiling or hijab.  (The word hijab means “screen or veil”, rather than, for example, for example, “headscarf” or “cloak”.  There are many words for Muslim womens’ outer garments, not all of which are found in Islamic literature.)  To Muslims, again, the words of the Qur’an are no less than the words of the One, True God.

All but one respondent, Muslimah B, agreed that hijab is legislated by the Qur’an.  In the words of Muslimah R, “It was prescribed in the Qur’an for women to cover themselves”.  Hijabi B simply answers “ALLAH Commanded it”.  These statements begin to answer one of the questions central to this study and the lager debate over veiling:  why do Muslim women veil themselves?

Hoodfar unduly emphasizes Arabian and Mediterranean traditions dating back to antiquity, but only presents the fact of veil-wearing:  its first recorded references, its changing role in societies over time, etc.  However, the reason for veiling is largely untouched in her essay.  Westerners and feminists have for some time defined their reasons for other women’s veiling customs:  patriarchy, notions of the harem, and extreme repression and domination by men.  This colonial method of assumption is prone to great misunderstandings because these “studies” of Muslims have mostly been unaccompanied by what makes them Muslim:  Islam.  This ignorance seemed apparent to Hoodfar at times, though she did fully address it or elude it.  It was not lost on Hijabi B, quoted here at length, who summarizes wonderfully how Muslims feel about the views of Westerners and academics whose conclusions about Muslims are formed without consideration of Islam.

Did you ever think to ask me?

“Responses to common misconceptions (even by [Columbia] professors teaching about Islam”  Hijab was not a left-over practice from pre-Islamic culture, it doesn’t mean our parents force us to marry our cousins, it’s not just a political statement, it doesn’t limit intellectual development…  it’s not a symbol of male domination, it doesn’t have to be black, it doesn’t make our heads that much warmer in the summer”

She finishes with a telling reflection:  “It can be some of those things, but often is not.”

Other respondents described hijab as:

– “the ultimate necessity for any woman (Muslim R)

– “unfair” (Hijabi R)

– “a chore” (Hijabi R)

– “a wonderful way to protect the modesty of a woman” (Muslimah R)

These are all things that wearing hijab or veiling can be, according to the respondents.  But in the end, they are largely the effects of hijab, not its causes.  For example it is doubtful that that Hijabi R, who feels that hijab is unfair, wears it because it’s unfair.

Regarding cause, interestingly, none of the stereotypical, Western/academic-assigned causes for veiling were quoted by the respondents.  Some were actually refuted, as in Hijabi B’s above quote.  Family pressure was mentioned once, but only as a discouragement against veiling.  All respondents were geographically and socially distant from the Middle East, negating it by default as a cultural explanation of the veiling practice.

To the Muslims of this survey, veiling has a meaning, and a power, that is lost on the minds of Western academia.  Just is in Hoodfar’s essay’s explanation of the veil carrying a sense of power, Hijabi R said that hijab was a way to “fight in the way of ALLAH’s Cause”.  To Muslimah R it was a statement of faith.  Muslimah B felt it “shows one’s inner strength”.  To these women, whether or not they chose to wear it, the hijab was a force, and a statement, as well as a shield and display of modesty.

Why has Western academia, with it sustained contact with Muslim population groups, failed to recognize the value of the practice of veiling?  It is not just because of the colonial/propagandist motivations that do too much to frame western discourse on Muslims.  The seemingly blind misunderstanding is one symptom of a larger problem:  willful ignorance of Islam and refusal to acknowledge faith.  One does not have to be a Muslim to study the practice of veiling, but how can studies of veiling ignore Islam when the practitioners list ALLAH, Islam and the Qur’an as the cause?  Western/non-Muslim perceptions, and to an extent Hoodfar’s essay, fail- refuse, in fact- to capture the reality of veiling as an extension of their refusal to acknowledge Islam.  Sympathizing Western feminists thus perpetuate the paternalism and repression that they suffer by re-inflicting it on Muslim women.  If Western men have historically treated women like objects, then that is all the less reason for them to do the same thing to Muslim women.  The feminist protest is against being treated like a docile, disenfranchised second class, yet feminism, out of ironic sympathy, approaches hundreds of millions across the globe as exactly that.  How can feminists insist on their voices being heard, when they drown the voices of Muslim women?  How can they, perhaps even more ironically, oppose being treated like sexual objects, while fighting for their right to look like one and belittling the women who refuse to?

Veiled Hindu women at a temple

This guise of objectivity is itself a veil, masking an academic and cultural arrogance that causes the scientific standards of Western academia to falter and the societies which it informs to suffer.  Some studies show American Muslims to live at a higher standard-of-living and education level than American non-Muslims.  The statistics of homicide and sexual violence in Western societies soar high above those of Muslim populations.  The tendency to criticize and patronize should be replaced with one to recognize.

The West, especially and perhaps because of its academics and feminists, succumbs to the subjectivity it is so wary of internally because it refuses to subjectively evaluate the meaning, or even acknowledge the statement that there is not deity besides ALLAH and Muhammad is His messenger.

* 1997. “The Veil in Their Minds and on Our Heads: The Persistence of Colonial Images of Muslim Women”, Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital, David Lloyd and Lisa Lowe (eds). Duke University Press, (reprint).

Is Muslim violence a proof against Islam?

This is a comment to an article about the role of Zionism in the Norway massacre.

 

Name any nation that is not at war…  you can’t.  Nearly every country in this world is in some sort of conflict.  No matter what religion the majority of their citizens claim.  Read the news:  Buddhist Thailand vs. Buddhist Cambodia, over a temple.  Civil wars and rebels all over the Christian nations of Africa.  The secular and Christian nations of the West occupying, attacking or aiding conflict all over the world.  Zionist Jews in Palestine.  Hindus committing atrocities in Kashmir and against Muslims and Christians in India.  It’s everywhere.  EVERY religion has members that are fighting, that kill innocent people, that commit murder and rape, that embezzle, scandal, scam, scheme and plot, rob, plunder and steal, commit adultery, abandon children, can’t read or write, molest children, bribe their way out of justice, etc., etc., etc….  And secularists, atheists, agnostics, and humanists get in on it too, so don’t blame religion

 

As you can see, a religion’s texts are a proof for or against its members.  They are not a proof for or against it.  You measure a religion by its book, and you measure its members by its book, too.  They either live up to it or fall short of it.

 

Let us look at an example.  It is true that many Christians were at the forefront of abolishing slavery worldwide (many were also the leaders of enslavement).  Should we judge Christianity by that?  According to some places in the Old Testament and Romans 13.1, opposing the laws that allowed slavery were AGAINST what they consider to be the word of God.  In other words, they had to step OUTSIDE Christianity to free slaves.

 

Islam’s Qur-an and Hadeeth (Prophetic narration) literature support abolition and forbid enslavement outside of the context of war-captives when there is no exchange for prisoners.  So while many Muslims were involved in the slave trade, they were stepping OUTSIDE of Islam to keep slaves.

 

Judge them by the book.

 

The United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence, celebrated symbols of freedom, enslave Africans, dispossess Native Americans, deny the rights of non-landowning white males, and deny the rights of all women.  So freedom, justice and equality can only be achieved by stepping OUTSIDE of America’s founding principles.

 

This is why we Muslims argue from our book.  That, not the action of the next Muslim you walk past, is Islam for us.  We only know the Qur-an as Islam.  We don’t know what every Muslim in the world is doing and why, but we will argue as strongly against a (seemingly) good deed as we will against a bad one if it is inconsistent with our law and doctrine.

Oh my God!! They're eating ice cream...

The truth is that Muslims also do a lot of good things, for the sake of Allah, in the name of Islam, to get a reward in heaven, etc.  Find them and what they do.  See, do they outnumber the wrongdoers?  I leave that as an open question to any sincere seeker of accurate information, I won’t answer it for you.

 

Personally- and this is admittedly subjective- I’ve been around the world and read and heard viewpoints from many walks of life.  I was in NYC on 11 September 2001 and accepted Islam there 3 years later.  Islam is my free choice because after research and experimentation, I found it to be the best and most complete way of life.  I won’t lecture you that I’m right, but I assure you that I’m aware and sincere.  See for yourself:  https://qahiri.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/11/

 

So please, do justice to yourself and stop ignoring all the wrongdoing and conflicts involving non-Muslims, and all the good done by Muslims, to prop up an argument that is an offense to intelligence, reason, history and logic.   Islam is singular in its establishment of justice and right.  Why do some Muslims act to the contrary?

 

Ask them.

 

For more on the accusations of rape, sexism/masochism and slavery in Islam:  https://qahiri.wordpress.com/category/stockholm-syndrome/

To see the deceptive and erroneous nature of Islamophobia and WikiIslam exposed:  https://qahiri.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/dealing-with-doubt/

To see whether Islam is incompatible with democracy:  https://qahiri.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/is-democracy-islamist/

To see if there is any difference between Arab culture and Islam:   https://qahiri.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/is-islam-arabian-part-i/

To read what Islam actually is:   https://qahiri.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/what-islam-is/

 

Dealing with Doubt: finding certainty when faith is attacked

Islam is the flavor of the month.  It’s on the tip of every tongue, and the front page of every publication.  News reports start and end with Muslims, and the negativity is at times overwhelming.  How can a Muslim cope?  How can they and non-Muslims filter the gold from the garbage to find the truth about Islam?  One famous saying comes to mind:

Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali said, “I memorised from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ‘Leave what gives you doubt for what gives you no doubt.'”

– at-Tirmidhi

The theme of this essay is leaving what is found to be false, for what is found to be true, and how.  It uses examples from the website WikiIslam to show how all people who disparage Islam exercise their hateful and deceitful agenda.

  1. I. Bias under the guise of academic objectivity

In its “About” page, WikiIslam claims to be a “website where anyone can post anything about Islam”, “a community-edited website where Muslims and non-Muslims are able to share their knowledge of Islam in separate articles”.  It also claims to be “the one-stop source of high-quality factual and objective information about Islam” and promises  to allow Muslims to have their own articles in response to an article on the site.”

The claims to objectivity and image of academic neutrality that WikiIslam aims to present are provable fallacies.

There are, to be fair, articles by Muslims, but these are nowhere to be found when reading the articles that they address.  In other words, Muslim submissions, specifically pro-Islamic ones, are kept separate, hidden, in fact, from the non-Muslim submissions.  Why could all points not have been presented in the same article, if indeed objectivity is the aim?  The discriminatory, separate-but-unequal treatment of Islamic viewpoints is a token offering of fairness that does not stop the reader from gaining a skewed perspective, as they will most likely read the anti-Islamic viewpoints and never find the hard-to-find pro-Islamic viewpoints. (I for one read many articles on the site for hours without encountering a single pro-Islamic viewpoint or Muslim-submitted article.  I only came across them by accident by later going to the “About” page.)

Perhaps WikiIslam intends the noun form of the word ‘objective’, rather than its adjective.

The “Recent Testimonies from Former Muslims” section on the Main Page is another obvious hole in WikiIslam’s claim to objectivity.  The testimonies are followed by more testimonies of people who left Islam.  Why, if they are neutral or objective, is their no invitation for testimonies of people who have converted to Islam?  Why, if it is claimed that no convert to Islam has submitted a testimonial, are there no links to the many articles about conversion to Islam?  There are in fact many high profile recent stories, such as Lauren Booth, journalist and sister-in-law of former UK prime minister Tony Blair.  Mike Tyson, a former heavyweight boxing champion, also seems to have had his story neglected.  There are many other famous and non-famous converts of many walks of life whom WikiIslam neglects or chooses to ignore.

In the “Non-Muslims” section at the bottom right of the Main Page, under the heading “Apostasy”, there is another link to “People who left Islam.”  Next to that is a form to “add your testimony”.  There is no corresponding section, or certainly not one that is as prominently placed, for people who have entered Islam, nor is there a place for them to submit their testimonials.

This is neither, objective, balanced, nor fair.  WikiIslam is biased in the academic sense of the word.  This can be forgiven and over looked as a failing, a falling short of standards that all academics struggle against.  It could be forgiven and overlooked, rather, if bias, in the intentional sense of the word, did not exist.

  1. II. Misinterpreting evidence by quoting it out of context

Unfortunately, an intentional bias does in fact exist.  On its page about Islam’s (supposed) racism, there is a heading “Racism against Infidel Arab Tribes.”  Under this heading is a translation of a verse of the Qur-an.

“The Arabs of the desert are the worst in Unbelief and hypocrisy, and most fitted to be in ignorance of the command which Allah hath sent down to His Messenger: But Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise.”

This is a sound translation of the meaning of the Qur-an, chapter 9, verse 97 to be exact.

According to the above verse, the Qur-an is indeed racist (or desertist, perhaps) against the Bedouin Arabs.

Read two verses further, though, and the Qur-an paints a more balanced picture of them:

“But some of the desert Arabs believe in Allah and the Last Day, and look on their payments as pious gifts bringing them nearer to Allah and obtaining the prayers of the Messenger. Aye, indeed they bring them nearer (to Him): soon will Allah admit them to His Mercy: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur-an 9.99)

Considering the length to which the website goes in other places to review and present Islamic evidence, it is naïve to assume that this was a mistake.  This omission, which reverses both the context and meaning of the verse, is either unforgivably negligent, or intentionally misleading.  In fact, this is a textbook trick used to slander Islam.

WikiIslam’s claim to a neutral, open or unbiased presentation of Islam has been disproved.

Its true intention of slandering Islam at any cost, even that of its own integrity, has been proven.

  1. III. Faulty methodology and logic

According to WikiIslam, Muhammad was impotent.

“As per my research, Muhammad, during the last years of his life was suffering from acromegaly. One side-effect of this degenerative disease is impotence. He had erectile dysfunction.”

On the same page, he is accused of having a “scandalous love affair”.  He also apparently deprived his wives of sex that he was not able to have:

“So the prophet decides to punish all of them and not sleep with any one of his wives for one month. Depriving one’s wives sexually is the second grade of punishment recomendedn in Quran.”

In another places WikiIslam alleges that he was a pedophile, rapist and sex addict.

So, according to WikiIslam, a man is impotent, that is, unable to have sex.  While he is unable to have sex, he has a love affair.  He punishes his wives that he is unable to have sex with by depriving them of sex he is apparently not having with them.  Then, while unable to get an erection, he rapes women.  He also has an apparent addiction for this thing that he can not do.

Are they serious?

How could one person, never mind a group of people, publish such self-contradictory information?  Shouldn’t it have caught at least one person’s attention?

How could they arrive at these differing conclusions from the same sources of evidence?

These laughable blunders could only have happened under one of three scenarios:

  1. A. The WikiIslam team is confused.

At best, they are confused.  Everyone gets confused sometimes, and while we can forgive them for this, we can not take their word about the thing they are confused about.

  1. B. WikiIslamists are methodologically unsound.

If they are not confused, then they have devised a methodology which leads them to contradicting conclusions.  If that is the case, i.e. that their use of reason is faulty and/or inconsistent, then we can not consider any single conclusion found by this methodology to be reliable.

  1. C. The WikiIslamists are blinded by their own hatred.

At worst, they bear so much malice towards Islam that they will disparage it in any way they can think of, without apparently thinking.  If this is so, not only are they blinded by hatred, in a way that makes their judgment questionable, but they are deceitful about their claim to objectivity, putting them doubly in doubt.  Further and lastly, as they are not objective and in fact maliciously biased, their word can not be trusted.

The correct conclusions are both B and C.  WikiIslam is methodologically unsound.  A simple but crude way of saying that is:  they don’t know how to think.  Going back to their long accusation against Muhammad, there is a point in the discussion when they accuse Muslims of fabricating a hadith.

In making an accusation against Muhammad regarding an incident in his household, WikiLeaks narrates a long narration, whose chief narrator was a companion of the prophet named Abdullah bin ‘Abbas.  In a later discussion about the narration, they defend it in the following manner.

“Yet some Muslims still claim that the Hadiths quoted above narrated by Abdullah bin ‘Abbas are false and the correct version is the one about honey. This is a nonsense. This hadith is recorded by both Bukahri and by Muslim.”

As a part of the same argument, they quote the following narration:

“A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) narrated that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) used to spend time with Zainab daughter of Jahsh and drank honey at her house. She (‘A’isha further) said: I and Hafsa agreed that one whom Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) would visit first should say: I notice that you have an odour of the Maghafir (gum of mimosa). He (the Holy Prophet) visited one of them and she said to him like this, whereupon he said: I have taken honey in the house of Zainab bint Jabsh and I will never do it again. It was at this (that the following verse was revealed): ‘Why do you hold to be forbidden what Allah has made lawful for you… (up to). If you both (‘A’isha and Hafsa) turn to Allah” up to:” And when the Holy Prophet confided an information to one of his wives” (lxvi. 3). This refers to his saying: But I have taken honey.”

However, they refute this narration and its support of the refutation of the argument they are trying to make, because, they claim:  “This hadith has been forged…” (Note:  ‘Hadith’ is árabic for “narration”.)

Now, let’s note that the narration of Abdullah bin ‘Abbas was defended on the grounds that it was recorded by Bukhari (mis-spelled as Bukahri) and Muslim.  In fact, it is recorded by these two famous collectors of narrations.

(The background is that authentic narrations of the prophet are the secondary source of knowledge and legislation in Islam, after the Qur-an.  These narrations, narrated first from a companion of the Prophet, and then passed down from one person to another in an oral tradition, were later collected by several famed collectors, of which Bukhari and Muslim are the most famous.  They devised various methodologies by which they graded the authenticity of these narrations, based on whether everyone in the chain of narrators had ever met each other, or whether any of them was known to be dishonest and others.)

The second narration, the one about the honey, was recorded by- you guessed it- Bukhari.  You’ll notice that not only are they from the same narration collector, but even from the same website.

WikiIslam defends one narration specifically because Bukhari narrated it, with no other reason given.  Then, in the same argument, they reject a narration, collected by the same person, with no reason given.

So is his name good or not?  WikiIslam has no way, or a very flawed one, of classifying a narration as sound or unsound.  They accept Bukhari’s narration on one occasion and reject it from another arbitrarily.  They, for example, do not make a comment on Bukhari’s particular science of narrations.  This is because they have no science.  They are (mis)guided only by the drive to prove what they are not investigating but have already decided to be true, and they disavow by any or no reason anything that contests their pre-conceived conclusions.  These simplistic and ignoble guidelines can never lead to a correct conclusion.

As for C, WikiIslam’s animosity towards Islam, discussion of that continues in the next section.

  1. IV. Open hostility towards Islam

This hostility towards Islam is not a mere accusation.  It is a documented fact.

In the middle of the aforementioned long accusation, the author’s argument breaks into the exclamation:

“What can a prophet ask more?…  Alhamdulillah! AllahuAkbar! Subhanallah. Isn’t Allah great?”

This is far removed from any intellectual or academic language.  (It isn’t even good English, but that’s not the point.)  Its sarcastic use of sacred words shows the antagonism and hatred that is the true objective behind’s WikiIslam’s thin veil of objectivity.

It is not hostility towards Islam that makes WikiIslam problematic.  Its contributors have the right to feel hostile or any other way towards Islam or any other thing, and so does everybody.  The problem arises from the fact that their hatred prevents them from being objective and neutral.  It has corrupted them, rotting away at their integrity from the inside until they have become all but open hypocrites.  They try to spread their hostility through trickery and deceit.  They present themselves as taking the moral, intellectual and academic high road while they are in fact groveling deep below it.

If WikiIslam were objective, but happened to paint a negative view of Islam in the end, I, as a Muslim, would accept it.  This is not the case.

A person who is willing to deceive about something can only be thought to be willing to deceive about anything, and, perhaps, everything.

A person who is willing to distort the truth once is willing, more than likely, to distort it again, or all the time.

We should not be convinced by the testimony of one who is himself or herself confused.

As such, this paper does not claim to have refuted WikiIslam’s every point.  It has not and will not address every one of their points.  It has exposed their willful dishonesty and malintent, which is sufficient to negate all of what they have said or will ever say from ever being acceptable.

We should throw the testimony of this biased witness and dishonest accuser out of the court of reason.  WikiIslam, for its part, should close, and its contributors and editors should inspect their morality, integrity, and ability to reason.  WikiIslam readers would do better to read only from credible, reliable and knowledgeable sources about Islam or any other subject they would like to learn about.

As a Muslim, I leave that which I doubt for that which I do not doubt.  As an intelligent human being, I do the same (which is why I became Muslim.)  It is not that I turn a blind eye to whatever refutes my ideology, it is that I leave what I find to be false (and therefore doubt) for what I find to be true (and, therefore, do not doubt).  In the case of WikiIslam and everyone who is like them, my advice to the world is to do the same.

To prove my critique of Islam is not based on my status as a Muslim, I am providing links to non-Muslims who also find it incredibly biased.  See what an atheist and the students and staff of the University of Central Florida had to say.

  1. V. What this all means

The wider application of this is that WikiIslam is not alone.  Muslim-bashing, Islamophobia, call it whatever you like, there is a growing and concerted effort to disparage Islam and Muslims, and unfortunately it’s working.  Almost no Muslims are terrorists, and almost no terrorists are Muslims, but the media is leading people to think the opposite.  WikiIslam is important only because it, in one place, compiles the various wiles and tactics of those who are out to denigrate Islam and Muslims in the name of supposedly noble causes.  In fact, because of their provable deceit and obvious biases, they are confirming what they are so vehement in guiding people away from.  They are false, which shows what they oppose to be true.  They falsify, which only clarifies the truth they are trying to hide.

Whether they accept it or rage against it, Islam is reviving and spreading all over the globe.  Muslims, despite the backwardness they are accused of, are thriving wherever they are found, which is not to deny that there are many who have yet to reach Islam’s ideals.

Islam is the rock that will not break, and it is a pity to have to find that out only after having broken one’s self against it.

Read more here.

is Islam Arabian? (part I)

“Arabs have a special place in Islam, you know.”

“Islam is Bedouin culture masquerading as a worldview.”

The first quote came from an Arab, unfortunately in the company of non-Muslims.  With some- definitely NOT all- Arab Muslims are going around with this attitude, the second quote doesn’t surprise me.

So, is Islam an Arabic religion?  Was it by the Arabs and for the Arabs, a tool of spreading their political domination and superiority over the globe?

The answer, in English and Spanish, is no.

 

Here is what Allah, His Messenger Muhammad (May Allah’s Blessings and Peace be upon him), and the Messenger’s companions (May Allah Be Pleased with them) had to say about Arab culture and Islam.  It is hoped that this email will clear the misconceptions held and propagated by some Muslims, non-Muslims, critics of Islam, and slanderers of Islam.

*******

 

Refutation of Racial and/or Tribal pride

“O mankind!  We* Have Created you from a male and a female, and Made you into nations in tribes, that you may know one another.  Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is the most righteous of you.”

– Qur-an 49.13

* i.e. the “royal” we of esteem, not plurality

“And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colors.  Verily, in that are indeed signs for people of sound knowledge.”

– Qur-an 30.22

“So when you have accomplished your (Hajj) rituals, remember Allah as you remember your forefathers or with a greater rememberance…”

– Qur-an 2.200

Note:  This refutes a custom the Arabs had introduced into the Hajj (a pilgrimage which precedes Allah’s revelation to Muhammad).  In it, they would spend hours praising their forefathers in poetry and song, an exercise in tribal pride.

“The wandering Arabs are the severest in disbelief and hypocrisy, and most likely to be ignorant of the limits which Allah hath revealed unto His messenger. And Allah is Knower, Wise.

Some of the desert Arabs look upon their payments as a fine, and watch for disasters for you: on them be the disaster of evil: for Allah is He That heareth and knoweth (all things).

But some of the desert Arabs believe in Allah and the Last Day, and look on their payments as pious gifts bringing them nearer to Allah and obtaining the prayers of the Messenger. Aye, indeed they bring them nearer (to Him): soon will Allah admit them to His Mercy: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”

– Qur-an 9.97-99

Note:  There’s no special place for Arabs here.

“An Arab has no superiority over a Non-Arab, and a Non-Arab has no superiority over an Arab, and a red man has no superiority over a black man, except in terms of piety”

– Muhammad (May Allah’s Blessings and Peace be upon him)

(Narrated by Imam Ahmad, Volume 5, Page 411)

“Allah Has Taken awah from you the pride of the Period of Ignorance and its pride in forefathers.  (A person is either) a pious believer or a miserable evildoer.  You are the sons of Adam* and Adam came from dust.  Let men give up their pride in their people, for they** are just coals from Hell, or they will become more insignificant before Allah than the dung beetle that rolls up filth with its nose.”

– Muhammad

(Narrated by Abu Dawood in al-Adab, Page 111)

* Peace be upon him

**i.e. the disbelievers and evildoers among them

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Apostle said, “You should listen to and obey, your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian (black) slave whose head looks like a raisin.”

Sahih Bukhari 9:89:256

Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, “Listen and obey (your chief) even if an Ethiopian whose head is like a raisin were made your chief.”

Sahih Bukhari 1:11:662

Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said to Abu-Dhar, “Listen and obey (your chief) even if he is an Ethiopian with a head like a raisin.”

Sahih Bukhari 1:11:664

When ‘Umar, the future second khalifah (caliph) of the Muslims, heard the Abu Bakr, the future first khalifah, had purchased the freedom of Bilal, an Ethiopian slave, he said “Abu Bakr, our master, has freed our master.”

– Narrated by Muslim

Note: The right to Khilafah (Caliphate) of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar is disputed by Shi’a Muslims.  The Shi’a belief on this matter, in summary, is that ‘Ali was the rightful Khalifah after his death.  Muhammad’s cousin (through his uncle Abu Talib), son-in-law (through his daughter Fatimah), father of his only surviving male bloodline (his grandsons Hasan and Husain), and eventual fourth Khalifah,

However, Abu Bakr was Muhammad’s father-in-law (through ‘Aa-isha).  ‘Umar was also his father-in-law (through Hafsa) and Ali’s son-in-law (through Umm Kulthum, granddaughter of Muhammad through Fatimah).  As such, some Shi’a contend that they are virtuous.  (http://revivingalislaam.blogspot.com/2010/12/umars-marriage-to-umm-kulthum.html).  In addition, and with all due respect to Shi’a points-of-view, their contributions to Islam, humanity, and civilization are matters of nearly universally accepted historical fact.

***

Did You Know?  An Arab Muslim invented Social Security on behalf of a Jewish Man

‘Umar in Al Khattaab, second khalifah of the Muslims, saw an old Jewish man begging from people, so he asked him,

“From which of the People of the Book are you?”

The man replied, “I am a Jew.”

Then ‘Umar took him to the storekeeper of the Treasury (Bayt al-Maal) and told him to give a regular stipend to this man and others like him, enough for them to live off and handle their affairs, saying,

“We are not treating him fairly if we take the tax (jizyah) from him when he is young, then neglect him when he gets old.”

– Abu Yusuf, al-Kharaaj, Page 144

***

Another story of the Sharee’a ruling in Favor of Non-Arabs over Arabs

His (Amr in al-‘Aas, governor of Egypt) son became very upset with the Copt because he had beaten him in a race, so he struck him with his whip, saying, “Take that!  I am the son of the most noble!”  The Copt went straight to Madeenah and complained to the Khalifah, ‘Umar in al Khattaab.  ‘Umar summoned ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas and his son, and gave the whip to the Copt and told him, “Beat the ‘son of the most noble.’”  When he had finished, ‘Umar said to him, “Now beat ‘Amr on his bald head, for his son beat you because of his father’s position.”  The Copt said, “It is enough that I have beaten the one who beat me.”  Then ‘Umar turned to ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas and said,

“O ‘Amr, how could you enslave people whose mothers bore them free?”

***

Refutation of Arab Marriage Customs

“And give to the women (whom you marry) their dowry with a good heart…”

– Qur-an 4.4

Note:  This bans the practice of giving dowries to the fathers of the bride, effectively ending the custom of selling daughters and buying wives against their will.

O ye who believe! It is not lawful for you forcibly to inherit the women (of your deceased kinsmen), nor (that) ye should put constraint upon them that ye may take away a part of that which ye have given them, unless they be guilty of flagrant lewdness. But consort with them in kindness, for if ye hate them it may happen that ye hate a thing wherein Allah hath placed much good.

– Qur-an 4.19

Note:  The Arab custom of widows being inherited by their brother-in-law or other in-laws is banned.

And marry not women whom your fathers married,- except what is past: It was shameful and odious,- an abominable custom indeed.

– Qur-an 4.22

Note:  Another Arab custom is banned.

If any men among you divorce their wives by Zihar (calling them mothers), they cannot be their mothers: None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And in fact they use words (both) iniquitous and false: but truly Allah is one that blots out (sins), and forgives (again and again).

But those who divorce their wives by Zihar, then wish to go back on the words they uttered,- (It is ordained that such a one) should free a slave before they touch each other: Thus are ye admonished to perform: and Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do.

And he who findeth not (the wherewithal), let him fast for two successive months before they touch one another; and for him who is unable to do so (the penance is) the feeding of sixty needy ones. This, that ye may put trust in Allah and His messenger. Such are the limits (imposed by Allah); and for disbelievers is a painful doom.

– Qur-an 58.2-4

Note:  The Arab custom of divorcing his wife by saying she was like the back of his mother is condemned, punished and banned.

***

Refutation of Blood Feuds

“O you who believe!  The Law of Equality in Punishment is prescribed for you in the case of murder:

the free for the free,

the slave for the slave,

and the female for the female.

But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or relatives, etc.) of the killed for blood money, then adhering to it with fairness and payment of the blood-money to the heir should be done in fairness.  This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord.  So after this, whoever transgresses the limits (i.e. kills the killer after taking the blood-money), he shall have a painful torment.

And there is a saving of life for you in the Law of Equality in Punishment, O people of understanding, that you may become righteous.”

– Qur-an 2.178-9

Note:  Previously, tribes would retaliate for a murder by murdering any other member of the offending tribe, which would in turn retaliate, starting a vicious cycle of vengeance.  At the time of Allah’s revelation to Muhammad, a blood feud had been running for centuries between two tribes that began with a member of one drinking from the other’s well.

***

Condemning the Arab custom of Female Infanticide and Attitudes towards Females

“And when the female infant is asked:  for what sin was she killed?…

…every soul will know what it has brought (of good and evil).”

– Qur-an 81.8-9, 14

When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief!

He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that which is announced to him. Shall he keep it with disgrace or bury it (alive) in the dust? Now surely evil is what they judge.

– Qur-an 16.58-9

Note:  The Arabs used to dig a hole for the mother to deliver over.  If it was a girl, they would simply bury it in the hole.  This is the amount of shame and inferiority that was attached to females.  There is a narration in which a man once informed Prophet Muhammad that he buried his daughter alive after she was several years old.  It is also reported that a man once told the Prophet that he had buried eight of his daughters alive before Islam.

***

Other Miscellaneous Refutations of Arab Culture and Customs

“And as such do the idols beautify for the idolaters the killing of their children, in order to lead them into their own destruction and confuse them in their religion.  And if Allah Had Willed, they would not have done so.  So leave them alone in their fabrications.

And they say:  “What is in the bellies of these cattle is for our males alone, and forbidden to our females, but if it is born dead, the all have shares therein.”  He Will Punish them for their attribution (of such evils to Himself).  Verily, He Is Wise, Knowing.

– Qur-an 6.137, 139

*******

It’s clear then, that Islam (which is considered by Muslims to be the final revelation of an eternal religion) is NOT Arabian.  It shatters the concept of anybody being a “chosen people” or superior.  Arabs and all others are held clearly to the same standard:  right belief and righteous action.  The best in these are the best in the sight of the Allah, Who Is All-Wise and All-Knowing.

So, why do some Arab Muslims feel that Islam is theirs or that they have some special place in it?

Or, why do some non-Arab Muslims feel that some Arab (particularly “Saudi” Arabians) scholars are the premier (or only) sources of Islamic knowledge and authority?

Ask them.

Really, forward this email and tell me what they say:  danyal.abdullah@gmail.com

I guarantee you that they can not provide one unequivocal statement that comes from an authentic source.  More on those sources later.

P.S.  As a Muslim, I believe in Jesus too, so here’s a Christmas present for you and your friends and colleagues:
The Truth Behind Christmas:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmdb88_6sjM
The Truth Behind Christmas and New Year’s I:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbB3lgue3oY

The Truth Behind Christmas and New Year’s II:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG2U-PfwmM4